Why ABA Therapy Is The Perfect Job For College Students
College students look for jobs that are flexible, pay well, and require little experience. If you‘re a college student, you know all too well how difficult it can be to nail that combination and find a job you enjoy! You also know how important it is to earn a decent income while in school.
There are housing, food, clothing, and of course tuition expenses, not to mention the expenses incurred partying (which of course for most, is not an extra!).
What Jobs Do College Students Get And Why?
With scheduled classes at haphazard times, minimal work experience in any one field, and no degree yet under your belt, you have little to showcase on your resume. Most college students work after-hours shifts in customer service, or the foodservice industry, waiting on diners in local restaurants or serving up lattes in local cafes.
More recently, students are finding slightly better-paying opportunities with app-driven jobs like Uber Eats or InstaCart. Conveniently, these jobs require no commitment to a schedule and can be done whenever the student has extra time. At the end of the day, you need to work many hours before you start feeling it in your pocket, and students are left wondering if the amount of effort and time they’re investing is really worth it.
You Can Find Better Employment – Even Before Graduating
What if you could land an entry-level job where you can make your own hours, be trained in a high-value skill, AND get paid well?
Imagine getting all that while doing what you love and making a great difference in the life of a child.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that working as an ABA therapist gives you all that!
Not only can you work as much or as little as your schedule allows, fill your bank account faster, and learn a skill with the earning potential of over $100/hour, but, if you love kids, you will also be filling your days with tremendous meaning and satisfaction. ABA therapists immediately and directly enrich the lives of children with ASD.
Without any degree, you can earn more, gain more, and learn more than most college students by working as an ABA Therapist.
ABA Therapy: More Than Just A Job
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA is a type of therapy that focuses on modifying specific behaviors that affect social skills, communication, academics, and activities of daily living.
ABA is a psychology-based therapy with roots in operant conditioning which uses positive reinforcement strategies to improve and shape behavior. Done successfully, ABA therapy will increase socially appropriate behavior and reduce or eliminate socially inappropriate behavior. The goal is to improve a client’s quality of life by teaching them appropriate skills and shaping behaviors that allow them to interact with their peers in a positive and productive way. This opens many doors of opportunity for clients as they become less dependent on and more connected to others.
Who Can Get ABA Therapy?
Most of the clients who receive ABA therapy are children, adolescents, and even adults who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. However, ABA is used with a variety of populations that might include patients with traumatic brain injury, neurological disorders, pervasive developmental disorders, and even alzheimers.
Where Is ABA Therapy Done?
ABA therapy usually takes place in a client’s home, in the classroom, or in a clinical setting. Each environment brings its benefits, for example, working with a child in the clinic where other therapists are present gives a client the opportunity to interact with peers and practice learned social skills.
Who Can Provide ABA Therapy?
Behavior Technicians (BTs), Registered behavior technicians (RBTs), Board-certified Applied Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), are all ABA therapists but each title describes a provider on a different level of expertise.
An RBT simply works with an individual to modify behaviors using the principles of ABA. RBTs do the same thing but they have been trained in a 40-hour online course. When either a BT or an RBT is working with a child, they will always be closely supervised by a highly qualified BCBA, who does the intake, assessments, analysis, and programming for every client that receives care. BCBAs are board-certified in behavior analysis and have extensive experience in ABA.
Do I Need A Degree?
While the job description might sound a bit complicated and formal, it is not. The field of ABA therapy has entry-level jobs that require only a minimal investment of time and training to start.
Individuals interested in pursuing ABA therapy employment may begin as a BT before completing the 40-hour online training in ABA therapy. Some insurance companies do require providers to be certified. Agencies will also pay more to those therapists who have completed the RBT course. This means that once a BT becomes an RBT they gain access to more cases and earn more per hour at the same job. The online course is not a college degree. It’s training that prepares you for success in ABA Therapy.
Most agencies will require first aid and CPR certification in order to work with children who have special needs. Once the 40 hours of online training is completed, an RBT will continue getting supervision from a BCBA.
Once those quick certifications are in place, ABA therapists continue to receive on-the-job training. Normally, a BCBA will give ideas, explain techniques, model, mentor, and evaluate progress. Sometimes, a new hire who is newly certified simply shadows another RBT for a couple of weeks to learn how to deliver the ABA programming to a client. ABA therapists are most successful when they’re open to all feedback given by their direct supervisor with the understanding that it’s all to hone their skills.
ABA Therapist Compared to Other Entry Level Jobs
The salary range for BTs is $20 -$30 per hour. This number can be affected by several factors: part-time or full-time schedule, experience level, education level, and location.
Entry-level RBTs can expect to hover around the $25,000 per year average, but a student with a few years and a graduate-level degree can command around $55,000.
The nice thing about ABA is that this type of salary can be achieved without a strict 40 hour per week schedule. Many therapists who work in ABA work 10-20 hour weeks (1 or 2 clients), while others who desire to work full time will work full 40+ hours per week and service 5 or 6 clients in a week. This would be a heavy workload for an ABA therapist as most clients are approved for 15-30 hours per week of ABA therapy.
The amount that an ABA Therapist desires to earn is entirely up to them! It is the flexibility of scheduling that makes becoming an ABA Therapist so attractive.
If you want to make a lot of money fast, then there is no shortage of work available to load up that schedule. Most ABA agencies have a client waitlist and can fill up a therapist who is interested in working 30-50 hours per week fairly easily.
On the flip side, if a student is getting overwhelmed with classes, it is always an option to put in a request to transfer a case and reduce the schedule for a while until classes lighten up.
Working as an ABA provider is an amazing opportunity to work one to one with children who have special needs and make a significant difference in their lives. It’s an educational experience that teaches you hands-on about a growing field.
Many BCBAs will tell you they took their first job testing out the waters, fell in love with ABA, and never looked back!
Whether you think you will go into ABA as a career or not, the experience that you’ll have gained will enhance your skillset for work in other fields such as Psychology, Pediatric Medicine, Mental Health, Special Education, and even Nursing.
Working with children and adolescents who have special needs is hard work but it is also one of the most rewarding and educational experiences out there.
Watching the children who receive ABA learn, grow and adapt socially is an extremely satisfying experience.
The variety of environments and behaviors make this type of work challenging and fun.
ABA Therapists really do make a difference in the lives of the families they treat, and most love what they do. Even better, they feel like they are getting paid their worth- even when working part-time.
It is simply nothing like working in daycare, preschool, or as a teaching aid. Being an ABA therapist is different. There is a specific mission with a specific method and the results are amazing to watch.
Circle Care Wants YOU!
- Do you like kids?
- Have you worked with kids in the past?
- Can you engage and connect well with others?
- Are you passionate about bringing opportunities to underprivileged children?
- Do you have a heart for individuals with special needs?
- Are you methodical and organized?
If you’ve answered yes to all or most of those questions, then you have what it takes to excel as an ABA therapist.
Why Circle Care?
Circle Care can set you up for success.
We have the clients to fill your schedule.
You will always feel respected as a person and as an employee by our friendly office staff.
You will get proper training and support so that parents will say, “We love our therapist!” (Then we chuckle inside and remember how they said they didn’t want someone without experience!)
Time and again we see that those who have a heart for children and an interest in making a difference excel at the job after going through our carefully designed training process.
Our employees get solid upfront training, on-the-job mentoring, and strong clinical support.
We also offer our employees
- Paid RBT certification program
- Access to ongoing online training programs
- Quarterly perks
Circle Care Services has partnered with your school to bring ABA training to students interested in helping children with autism grow and develop. We’ve successfully onboarded 60 therapists in the past year and look forward to working with you too to launch an exciting new career in ABA.
Autism Services is an ever-growing career field. There is plenty of room for growth. If you love your work as a Circle Care BT, we offer free RBT certification to all our BTs enabling you to earn money while certifying. (Rather than spending money on certifying)
“We value you! We promise to give to you as you give to others. We will give you solid training, room for growth, and opportunities to build to full-time if you want.
So, if you are a college student and you are looking for an amazing opportunity to make great money doing something wonderful, consider becoming an ABA therapist at Circle Care Services today.
Get in touch and we will help you get started on your training- now!